October 24, 2013 |
President Obama on Thursday launched a new effort to pass immigration reform by the end of the year, urging House Republicans to "take a closer look at the polls" and pass the languishing Senate measure. Speaking to a crowd at the White House, Obama offered GOP lawmakers a little unsolicited advice. "Good policy is good politics in this instance," Obama said. Those who are resistant should "take a closer look at the polls. " The White House is hoping that Obama's recent political victory in the government shutdown and the poor approval ratings for Republicans will inspire House leaders to finally take up the reform bill passed by the Senate.
October 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's Democratic allies in Congress said Wednesday they are “not happy” about the glitch-filled rollout of the healthcare law, but criticized Republicans for trying to kill Obamacare rather than fix it. “It's very disturbing to see that the website hasn't performed as well as we would like,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), the No. 4 Democrat in the House, emerging from a private briefing with administration officials. “I think it's even more disturbing when individuals intentionally work against the American people and the rights that they have now secured to access quality, affordable health care.” Seeking to tamp down growing concerns about the Affordable Care Act's clunky online exchanges, administration officials met with Democrats on Capitol Hill to discuss efforts underway to improve the performance.
October 23, 2013 |
It is the center of the political universe in presidential contests. And now the war over the nation's new healthcare program has come to Ohio as well, with potential repercussions for the short- and long-term future of the state's governor, John Kasich. Kasich has been feuding with some of his fellow Republicans over whether to expand the Medicaid insurance program for state residents, under terms of the healthcare plan. GOP lawmakers stripped the expansion from the state's budget, prompting an end-run by Kasich to the state's obscure Controlling Board, which on Monday approved the expansion . (The board normally doesn't deal with matters as fraught as the multimillion-dollar federal benefit under Obamacare.)
October 22, 2013 |
Conservatives with long memories had to laugh at the recent New York Times front-page headline: "Fiscal Crisis Sounds the Charge in GOP's 'Civil War.'" That diagnosis largely hangs on the judgment of 1970s New Right direct-mail impresario Richard Viguerie, whose ears have been ringing with the thunder of Ft. Sumter for a quarter-century. Within a week of Ronald Reagan's 1981 inauguration, Viguerie was denouncing the Gipper as a traitor to the cause. The Associated Press ran a story headlined "Conservatives Angry With Reagan.
October 18, 2013 |
It's been a constant quandary for the Obama White House: Should the president reach out to his Republican opponents or isolate them? Should he compromise to move his agenda or try to split the GOP ranks? Carrot or stick? That debate appeared settled on Thursday when President Obama spoke in the White House State Dining Room to deliver his verdict on the just- ended government shutdown: more stick. "To all my friends in Congress, understand that how business is done in this town has to change," Obama said as he praised "responsible Republicans" for brokering the deal but denounced "the pressure from the extremes.
October 18, 2013
Re “Crisis averted - for now,” Oct. 17 Although it's tempting to feel relief that our government is restarting, we must recognize the irreparable damage that's occurred in the last 16 days. A small, extremist faction of Republicans put people out of work, bruised our international reputation, desensitized us toward the ploy of brinkmanship and made us a more cynical nation. California voters are fortunate to have congressional representatives who are, in general, balanced and represent us well.
October 17, 2013 |
One seldom acknowledged fact about the "fog of war" is that it can persist long after the final battle is over. That's true of the battle that ended the shutdown/debt ceiling war. So because they may still be obscured, here is a quick rundown of the three most important things to remember about the battle and the Republican surrender. 1. The GOP and the tea party actually have achieved their most important long-term goal. That battle is over the spending cuts known as the sequester, the noxious outcome of the last debt-ceiling battle, in 2011.
October 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) listed the beliefs he said united Republicans, urging them not to "confuse tactics with principles. " "The differences between us are dwarfed by the differences we have with the Democratic Party," he declared. But in the Capitol's halls, as bruised and defeated Republicans discussed what had befallen them, those internal divisions seemed only to widen. "It's pretty hard when we have a circle of 20 people who stand up every day and say, 'Can we surrender today, Mr. Speaker?
October 15, 2013 |
A tentative proposal by House Republicans to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling, along with changes to the Affordable Care Act, looked to be heading toward an early demise Tuesday morning, with Senate Democrats and the White House saying they wouldn't touch the House deal. White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage called the new House proposal another attempt to “demand ransom for fulfilling their basic responsibilities to pass a budget and pay the nation's bills.” LIVE BLOG: Scroll down for all the latest developments And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tweeted Republicans were “attempting to torpedo the Senate's bipartisan progress.
October 15, 2013 |
Two different narratives have been at play in Washington lately to explain what caused the government shutdown. In the first, House Republicans are to blame for trying to hold Democrats and the president hostage over a law that was duly passed by Congress. In the other, Democrats are to blame for their rigid refusal to compromise on Obamacare. But there's a part of the story that seemingly has been lost in history: Democrats have already compromised on healthcare reform by adopting Obama/RomneyCare in the first place.